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tv   Parker Spitzer  CNN  January 13, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EST

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studio. i say that with no disrespect. when something like this happens, you are saddened. you want to go and see and feel it. to the point it was hard if you were listening at home. to hear the laughter, cheering and applause and what looked like a celebration. the town had been in shock for days, crying for days, they were celebrating the first responders, doctors, everybody else. it was quite moving. pete, we will see you tomorrow. >> thank you, good luck. >> that's all for us tonight. i am glad to be back. i don't dislike my studio that much. we will see you here tomorrow night. parke parker/spitzer starts now. >> good evening, i am kathleen parker. >> i'm eliot spitzer. we begin tonight with the best possible news from the university medical center in tucson. extraordinary progress for congresswoman gabrielle giffords. dr. sanjay gupta spoke exclusively with the doctors and her husbandch today they sat her up on the edge of the bed and she moved both of her legs and
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wait till you hear what else she did. tonight here are the questions we want to drill down on tonight. is it possible, could it happen that gabrielle giffords has the full recovery. then the ugly side of the story, chat room postings, describing rape and cannibalism, describe the horrible thoughts of jared loughner. the strangest ramblings what do they tell us about whether or not he was insane. then something you probably have b heard about a second gun at the scene of the shooting and a near miss. just how close were we to a greater tragedy in tucson? >> meanwhile, authorities believe they recovered another clue that links jared loughner to the shooting spreen tucson. a black bag containing several boxes of ammunition that matches the type used in the incident was found by a teenager walking his dog close to the loughner home. loughner's father, told he saw his son carrying the bag on the morning of the shooting, the father asked his son what he was doing, jared gave him a mumbled response. >> friends and family turned out for 9-year-old christina
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greene's funeral service. christina of course was killed while attending giffords meet and greet saturday. while hundreds arrived at the church, they passed under the flag recovered in the aftermath of 9/11, the very day christina was born. >> as family and victims serve for answers we learned details that offer a glimpse into loughner's dark, disturbing mind. we are joined from tucson with the latest. hi, randi. so much has been said. let me just start. i'm sorry, didn't mean to interrupt you. so much has been said about loughner's writings, ramblings, you have taken a closer look at some of the information, what can you tell us what you learned about his on-line writings and world he was living in? >> well i can tell you that we have learned that he was pretty obsessed with dreaming the not just any kind of dreaming, but
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lucid dreaming or conscious dreaming where you actually feel like you are in the dream, you, you are aware you are in the dream, but you also feel look you can manipulate the dream, like the movie inception. we found some of the writings on youtube. apparently written in the last four weeks. i can tell you what some say. this is just a sampling of them. one says my favorite activity is conscience dreaming, he meant conscious, he misspells, some of you don't dream sadly. he also wrote the population of dreamers in the united states is less than 5%. finally, he wrote jared loughner is conscience dreaming, again using the wrong word at this moment. thus jared loughner is a sleep. so he was very obsessed with dreaming, according to his friends. they say he kept a dream journal. friends told us that he felt like he could be anything and everything that he wanted in a dream. everything that he wasn't in the real world. so once again, obsessed with lucid dreaming or conscious dreaming. eliot? >> randi, you spoke with an
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expert, studied all this, lucid dreaming, is it possible he was dreaming during the shooting? is there some completely psychosis that captured him? >> well that's what we wanted to try to find out. we spoke with the university of airs psychology professor, and he said for somebody that is mentally ill which is what many experts believe jared loughner is, this lucid dreaming can be very dangerous. they get so deep into it they might lose their reality. they might not realize when they are dreaming and when they are in their own reality. i asked him if it is possible that jared loughner was dreaming when he allegedly shot the 19 people. and this is what the professor told me. >> it is conceivable from what we know about his history that he was -- he could have been confusing when he was in a dream and when he wasn't in a dream. we have to be open to that possibility. >> now this professor also told me that he believes that loughner actually liked his dream world better, that, that his fantasy world, dream world
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that was really his escape from the darkness that appeared to be taking over his life. eliot. >> all right. >> thank you so much for your report. stay tuned for more of randi's report tonight on anderson cooper "360." >> now we turn to loughner's defense. how will the rants and questionable behaviors factor into it? joining us to explore all of this, cnn senior analyst jeff toobin, as always thank you for being here. >> jeffrey, lucid dreaming, he is dreaming knows he is dreaming can live in his drelams. its there something to this? >> certainly it seems like the only hope if this case ever gets to a jury for the defense is some sort of insanity defense. and the legal system has been struggling for more than 200 years to define insanity in a way that people can understand. and the best i can do to describe the contemporary standard at least in federal court is that legally insane means you have to not understand what you are doing.
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if you realize you are shooting a human being, you are'l not legally sane. if you in fact think you are shooting a water mel lon, shooting a human, you are maybe insane. a narrow standard. hard to get acquitted. >> i am just automatically skeptical. if he is writing all these things about dreaming is he not trying to create a case for himself, that he is insane, in case, sounds like he is planning it all out? >> it doesn't strike me that way. the bigger problem for him i think is the material apparently that was found in his home that says my assassination. giffords' name. i planned this. that certainly suggests that he knew at least by the legal standard that he knew what he was doing. so i think, insanity defense is going to be very tough for him. have to say that. that one word, assassination. that has been recovered, handwritten, i believe. would seem to doom any capacity
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or expert on his behalf to say he did not understand the wrongfulness of what he was doing. to your point. psychology and criminal law have never meshed well. because one, psychology is an effort to understand and almost explain away and criminal law, you knew what you were doing, you are culpable. for over 200 years. >> that is true. there is also some appeal to insanity. at some level with a lot of criminals particularly a criminal like if he did what we think he did, it seems so crazy. it seems like not the result of an ordered mind. now we also don't want to let anyone get away with this. >> soap we are torn in both directions. >> here is the thing, ae we, hope sane mind would say anybody who did that is necessarily insane. because the depravity speaks for itself. on the other hand we cannot have an ordered world in which merely the vast nature of the criminal act permits one to get off. therefore we see this depravity, we don't let that become an
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excuse nor should we in my mind. >> the example that defines this problem for many people is the john hinckley case. john hinckley shot president reagan and two other people in 1981, he wanted to impress jodie foster and was obviously a person with great personal problems and found not guilty by reason of insanity. it doesn't mean you go home like when you are acquitted in other circumstances. he has been in a mental ins t institution for 30 years. he gets hall passes to get out. much better to be found legally insane than to be convicted. but a lot of people were upset with that verdict. the defense has been tightened since 1981. >> what about guilty and insane? >> some states have hthat verdict. phoenix, arizona does not. the federal government does not. that is an attempt to sort of grapple with this. and i think it, it has worked in some circumstances. does ant ply hen't apply here.
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>> play out where its this case in the process of federal prosecution. what will happen next, when will he enter a plea, what will happen there after? >> he was arraigned. just had the charges read to him so he understands. the judge put the case down for what is called preliminary hearing, 30 days later. those preliminary hearings never happen because before the 30 days the federal government presents the case to a grand jury and he gets indicted. he will be indicted sometime in the next month. at that point he will be arraigned by a federal district court. then the pretrial motions will start. obviously a big part of that will be psychological evaluat n evaluation. >> there will be two parallel cases, a federal case for attempted assassination of the congresswoman and the killing of the federal judge. then there will be state cases with respect to the other victims as well. how do the two play with each other over time? >> this is something i think you know something about. there its turf battles.
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>> bet tween prosecutors with parallel jurisdictions. >> right. >> usually they work it out. some times it can become contentious. in this circumstance i think they will work it out. district attorney in pima county and united states attorney in arizona are going to have to figure who goes first. >> who will make the determination about death penalty? >> each jurisdiction has the option. both the u.s. government and state of airs have death penalty. this case is e jiligible for bo. the authorities in both jurisdictions will have to make the determination. interesting to see who goes first on that issue. >> will he be tried in tucson? will the defense move to have it tried far away saying he can't possibly get an impartial jury in this community? >> certainly that is going to be an issue on the table. remember the judges in tucson have already said, we can't try this case because one of the victims was our colleague. so they're bringing in a federal judge from san diego. that's just one of the many
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complexities. the defense is going to want to do one thing above all for starters. which is slow this down. because everybody is so angry now, the defense is going to want to put this thing on slow. >> all right. thanks so much for joining us, jeff. fascinating conversation as always. our resident legal expert. >> coming up we will hear from dr. gupta and his exclusive interview with gabrielle giffords' team of doctors. >> i've want to live up to her expectations the i want our democracy to be as good as christina imagined it. i want america to be as good as she imaged it. all of us, we should do everything we can do to make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations!
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now to the condition of congresswoman gabrielle giffords. her doctors continue to be optimistic noting her ability today to sit on the edge of her bed and move both legs. cnns chief correspondent dr. sanjay gupta spoke with giffords' doctors and joins us now. welcome. >> hey, thanks. >> sanjay, you had a chance to talk with captain mark kelly, gabrielle giffords' husband, first time he spoke with anybody. quite a remarkable interview. what did he tell you? >> well he was in houston when he found out about this, eliot. got a call from the chief of staff for congresswoman giffords. he didn't really know what to believe at that point. this hadn't been in the news at that point. he was a navy pilot. able to get access to a plane. and made his way to tucson. 45 minutes after he took off. he arrived here right at the time she was being brought out of the operating room he told me. it was at that time he sat down and talk to the two doctors we have gotten to know over the
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past week and they told him his wife had been shot in the head at that point and specifically the nature of the injury and sort of their expectations over the next several days. you know he talked a lot about last night. it was a, really important night. i think, you heard what happened. the president visiting with her, her opening her eyes. he doesn't strike me as the the kind of guy who is prone to using the word miracle just off the cuff. he said it was a miraculous moment. i asked him, did your wife, congresswoman, recognize the president of the united states was in her room. he sort of paused for a second said i think she knew the president was there but she was still sort of struggling to find out why. that gives you a good sense of where her mind is at at this point. she is moving her left arm spontaneo spontaneously. still has her breathing tube in. he believes it could be taken out as early as tomorrow. shared a lot of details about just over the past to days what has been happening with him and how he has been making his decisions. one more thing as well, if i could, if i could just one more thing as well.
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this whole idea of where she is in her own mind. the doctor, chief neurosurgeon, i asked him specifically about that as well. just take a quick listen to this. >> do you feel she understands all that has happened to her? >> i am starting to think so. >> she nose. >> it is really. i was there when the congresswoman and the senator were in the room. to see her open her eye and look at them, there is no question in my mind. and she has done that for her husband as well. those glimmers of recognition, that tracking of the eyes tells you a whole lot more, that she is aware of her surroundings to some extent, coming in and out perhaps, and she is trying to engage that reality as well. >> kathleen, i wanted you to listen to that. we have made a lot of the fact she has been following commands. what he is describing, dr. lemole and her husband, is higher cognitive function and a step forward exactly what they are looking for. >> given that, sanjay and
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extreme injury she suffered to her brain, what is her prognosis. she seems to be experiencing a series of amazing steps forward. >> she is able to, you know move both of her legs. she was dangling her legs over the side of the bed you mentioned. the biggest concern at this point, still the strength in the right arm and the right leg to some extent. perhaps even more so the right arm. and also her, her language function overall. her ability to receive communication, her ability to express herself. we can't test that because she still has a breathing tube in. and they're still, they're not talking a lot about the function of her right arm. it is safe to say that is one of the areas of the brain they are most worried about. it is hard to say, kathleen. and people can have improvements months afterwards. so where this ends up, i think is, it really just speculation at this point. >> you know, sanjay, this may be unfair, speculation is probably useless. as somebody who really has watched this, as so many of us have with amazement at the speed
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of the recovery is there any hope for complete cognitive recovery so we will once again see her on the floor of the house of representatives giving an speech. its that what we can hope and pray for? >> i think the idea of a full cognitive recovery is there, eliot. you know, i was referring specifically to motor function. i think so. given the fact that she was following commands even before she had surgery is suggestive of the fact that she, her brain injury, even though it was significant, she was already compensating even at that time. also, the one thing you can say, there is a lot of speculation in neu neurosurgery, you can say, rate of recovery immediately after injury is proportional to how good the outcome is going to be overall. she has been recovering fast. >> what about other patients, sanjay, how are they doing? >> well, you know there are so many patients still in the hospital here. i have heard some incredible stories from some of the patients today. some of them are a little tough to even talk about. one of them i will tell you
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quickly, ron barber, one of the staffers for the congresswoman as well. head of community outreach. he was standing right next to her when this happened. and he relayed the story to me today. he heard the shot. and he was actually looking at the congresswoman when she got shot. he turned his head to look to see where it came from. he himself was shot in the face and the leg. the congresswoman landed. he landed behind the congresswoman. he was lying down looking at her back. both of them slumped over. he was still conscious. right in between them, gabe zimmerman fell. he had been shot. and, and ron told me, and it was tough for him to talk about this. he told me he knew that gabe was dead right at that time. it was just a horrific scene. but he also described a woman named anna who wasn't at the event who came over and held pressure that was, significant bleeding on his leg. and he told me his doctors confirmed this that, had, had she not come over and held that pressure, he probably wouldn't have survived. so real heroes, among the horror
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there. >> you know, tales of heroism keep coming out. remarkable thingn't to see them behind you, tributes paid by the public. an outpouring of support and hope. wonderful to see in the aftermath of this tragedy. dr. sanjay gupta, thank you for your an am sialysis. there was another gun at the shooting scene last saturday. we tell you what could have happened when we return. stay with us. >> what matters is not wealth or status or power or fame, but rather how well we have loved. and what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better. ay moment can turn romantic anytime. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. ♪ cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day so you can be ready anytime the moment's right.
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you may have heard of joe, one of the heroes of the shooting incident in tucson saturday morning. he helped restrain jared loughner before first responders arrived on the scene. >> joe is here tonight and we will hear his remarkable story. there is a twist to a story we want to explore. when joe arrived on the scene. he was armed, had his gun ready with the safety off. in that moment of chaos, joe made a split second decision not to fire his gun. but what might have happened if he had? please welcome, joe zamudio. joe, thank you for being here. thank you for everything you did on saturday. >> thank you. >> all right, joe, before, just tell us what happened, saturday morning, tell us what you saw. >> well, kathleen, i went into the wal-greens to buy something. before i could even finish my transaction i heard the gunshots ring out. and i just reacted.
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i didn't think about it at all. i have heard that question more times than i can count. and i honestly i didn't think. if i had i probably would have hit the ground. >> but when you got there, you saw a man holding a gun. tell us what happened then? >> well, as i came through the door of the store i saw a man who i believe was wounded saying shooter, shooter, get down. at that instant it affirmed my, my assumption that the, there were gunshots that i had heard. and in that second, split second, i took the safety off my gun and i -- i palmed it and i was ready to go. but i didn't remove it from my coat yet. i turned my shoulders and squared them to the breezeway. in that second i saw the gentleman who was not the shooter, i later found out, holding a firearm. and i saw that firearm had been cleared. and the slide was locked black. i decided that, he wasn't a
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threat to . and i could possibly take him down without shooting him. which was -- pretty important to me to not, not to be an executioner. and luckily, i made that choice. and i ran up on him. and i grabbed his wrist. and told him to drop it. at which point, everyone around me made it pretty clear that the shooter was a different man. the one they were holding to the ground and struggling. that was just another bystander like myself trying to help. >> what you did, joe, i got to tell you what you did was an act of heroism. kind of remarkable. the question i have got for you. incredibly close call. you made the right judgment, remarkably good judgment not to shoot the other fellow who was there assisting as you were. does it worry you, my goodness how close you came in having that many guns around might have actually caused a tragedy? >> no. i mean, i made a really good decision. that's why i carry a gun. because i trust myself to make
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the right decision. you know? i didn't -- i dent pull it out. nobody even knew. i told the police officer first one i spoke to. i said, sir, i am carrying a firearm. i didn't pull it out. i didn't use the it. it wasn't necessary. but i thought you should know. he said thank you. we will talk to you about it later. i am not worried. >> does the worry you at all, look, we don't want to do anything to diminish the heroism and wisdom of your decision. but with too many people carrying guns doesn't it increase the odds somebody might make the wrong decision and shoot an innocent person even with all the good intent to only shoot somebed who was actually committing the crime? >> yeah, i mean, you can't know what people are going to do. i am not trying to say that, that, i'm perfect or that -- everyone out there will be in that moment as thoughtful as i was. i definitely don't believe everyone should carry a gun. there is a lot of people who don't have the right responses
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and who aren't comfortable and practice and who would make the wrong decision. and there is people who are just afraid and who would, who would not at all be a good person to carry a gun. but i feel like if you, if you want to protect yourself, and if you are confident, then you should be allowed to. and i'm an american. >> there is a lot of conversation the past couple days about does it make sense to limit access to guns. i want to ask you, one of the ideas out there is to at least not permit somebody to buy a magazine with 33 bullets in it for a glock 9. does that sort of limit make sense to you? >> you know, i guess 33 is a little bit excessive. personally i own extended magazines. it is a little easier when you are at the range. you don't have to reload as much. it's -- purely a convenience thing. it's not about -- the whole thing is, you know, if you needed 30 rounds and couldn't get a 30 round clip he could
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have had two guns with 15 round clips. you are splitting hairs at that point. the problem is not the amount of bullets or whether or not he could get a gun, the problem is that this person got to this point emotionally and mentally where they could do something like this. and i feel like, we as a community, and as a country have the responsibility to protect people among who need help like this. to, point them out and to get them help. even if it means committing people or whatever needs to happen, we can't allow things look to go down. and it's not, you can control guns better, you could try, but the truth is that criminals can get guns, they can still them, borrow them, they can do anything. you can buy one out of a trunk. it is not that hard to get a gun. the real thing is can we stop people from being irresponsible? >> joe zamudio, thank you, we appreciate your quick, clear
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thinking in the circumstances and appreciate you coming on the show. >> thank you for having me on the show. >> our pleasure. >> have a wonderful evening. >> you too. tuesday we spoke with allen corwin, an expert on gun law and author of "arizona gun owner's guide." he feels strongly when more people carry guns we're all safer. mr. corwin is back with us tonight. welcome. thank you for coming back on the show. >> a pleasure to beep here, eliot. >> hi, mr. corwin, i am here too. nice to talk to you. >> hi, kathleen. sorry. >> thank you. it's okay. i want you to listen to something you said to us on tuesday. >> the only way to have stopped loughner was with counterveiling force. no, you don't want a shootout in public. but if somebody goes berserk. look how this story would have been different if some individual there had a fire are, one of ms. giffords' aides had a firearm and was able to return fire. that's travesty. there was nobody there capable of returning fire.
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>> okay. well we now know from joe zamudio he was capable of returning fire. here is a 24-year-old with a gun. he took off the safety. he came into this chaotic, traumatic scene, he was prepared to shoot the wrong man. in this case he didn't, thank god. do you feel that counterveiling force is the best remedy? >> i thought about that a lot since last time, kathleen, you were concerned, legitimately that somebody might shoot and create more trouble. but if there was another active shooter there, or if joe was there earlier, he mig have stopped him. and the chances of him shooting 19 people by accident is extraordinarily remote. the chances are if he had been there earlier he could have stopped him and he did use counterveiling force. he wrestled hem to the ground. they held him down. force was required to stop this guy. whatever sort. if you can avoid shooting, you always do. but if innocent lich immediately
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depends on it. you must to save the lives and to save yourselves. >> that is an important point. responsible gun owners do know that. you don't shoot unless you absolutely have to. so i think that is a point worth repeating. >> you know, but allen, obviously you and i come from slightly different perspectives on this issue. numbers front brady campaign to prevent gun violence. i know you disagree with them. the numbers are kind of staggering. just take a listen. for every age group where there are more guns there are more accidental deaths. in 2009, most recent year for which we have real numbers, 18,610 people were wounded in unintentional shooting. so i think there were also, in the year before that there were over 600 deaths. isn't it clear that the more guns there are out there the more death and injuries are caused accidentally and isn't that a ris wek we have got to consider whun ho has access to ? >> you have a set of statistics. you catch me without another set.
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when you look at statistics the brady group comes up, well recognized as a highly biased group, statistics are brilliant. when you look at nra statistics and they're a highly controversial group as well, their statistics are brilliant. neither of the statistics match. so, putting your rights into a statistical argument, i don't think is a good idea. if the numbers you just cited are correct, then americans need more training, more classes, we need more trainers on the ground, a person should know how to safely handle a firearm, how to keep them safe in the home. there are 100 million guns, more than 100 million guns, in 100 million homes. so the statistical percentages are very low, but there are tragedies every single one. it shows the need for more training. we have a program here in arizona, train me campaign to train everybody in arizona to know how to use a firearm safely whether you want one or not. you should understand how to use it. >> you know, allen.
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>> doesn't that make sense? >> sure it does. >> not in entirety. i agree we want more training. i think at this moment. even those who are traditionally in favor of gun control would be happy to get bipartisan support to require training before people bought something like a glock with 10, 20, 30 bullets in the cartridge. in the magazine. i think maybe we can at least agree on that much right now to knock down the number of these accidental shootings. what do you think about that? >> i would rather see the free market do it. because when government gets involved it doesn't really run as well in my opinion or as experience has shown. we had government mandated classes here in airs for many years. they didn't cover all sorts of very important subjects. but that was the mandated class. if you want to a privately run class, went to an instructor, you got much better training, more indepth, training. i am a kind of free market kind of guy. if you want america trained, let's go to the trapers who are certified, the people who know what they're doing.
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we have them all listed on web sites. that's the way to pursue it. not to have government bureaucrats some where else decide you must study a, b, c, d, and assume that is correct. i would even see it in the schools, arizona has a marksmanship program for high school students a full semester long. let them take that, learn that way. >> well, allen, i am all for private instructors, but i wouldn't mind seeing people be required to have training before they buy a gun. thank you so much for being with us. >> allen, thank you. >> it was a pleasure. you are welcome. >> coming up, arizona tragedy made for a wild white house briefing today. we'll tell you about it when we come back. >> what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other. [ applause ] that we cannot do. choose from. come on. td ameritrade introduces commission-free etfs
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the events in airs led rizoo a bizarre moment, a russian reporter asked a question that stunned the room and caught robert gibbs off-guard. ed henry was there and he joins us now to tell us all about it. ed, exactly what happened? >> eliot, so surreal. i was in the front row. you could almost feel a chill, in a sense the cold war was back maybe for a few moments. the russian reporter grilling the american press secretary. and basically saying, look, coming out of tucson, certainly, it's all american to have freedom of speech. but he said it was also american to have someone who is deranged and act on it in a violent way. that seemed to be suggesting that maybe in russia where there
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is less freedom they don't have the same problems. it stunned reporters like myself in the room but it also stunned a clearly emotional robert gibbs. >> first, my condolences to all the americans, especially obviously to the victims. but second as to why, it does not seem all that incomprehensible, at least from the outside, it is the reverse side of freedom. unless you want restrictions, unless you want the bigger role for the government -- >> don't do this. there is an investigation that is going to go on. hold on. let me take my time back just for a second. i think there is an investigation that is going to go on. i think there are, as it goes on, we will learn more and more about what happened. i think as the president was clear last night we may never know. >> this is america. the democracy, the freedom of
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speech, the freedom of assembly, the freedom to petition your government. many people outside would also say, and the quote, unquote, freedom of a deranged mind to react in a violent way is also american. how would you respond to that? >> i'm sorry, what was the last part? >> the quote, unquote freedom of the deranged mind to react viole violently, it is also american. >> no, it's not. >> no, no, i would disagree vehemently with that. there is nothing in the values of our country, there is nothing on the many laws on our books that would provide for somebody to impugn and impede on the very freedoms that you began with by exercising the actions that that individual took on that day. that is -- that is not american.
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there are, i think there is agreement on all sides of the political spectrum. violence is never, ever acceptable. we had people that died. we had people whose lives will be changed forever because of the deranged actions of a madman. those are not american. those are not in keeping with the important bed rock values by which this country was founded and by which its citizens live each and every day of their lives in hopes of something better for those that are here. thank you. >> now, i spoke to the reporter later, he said, look the only point he was trying to make. if americans want to clamp down on this they're going to need more gun control. robert gibbs pushing back so hard he was able to duck the broaderer to of gun control.
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the manner in which the reporter approached it especially now when emotions are still so raw a few days after the tragedy seemed a bit over the top. that's why you saw. >> just of a bit. good for robert gibbs. yeah. >> yeah. >> couldn't agree more. i think robert gibbs handled it just right. i've don't think most folks would realize a foreign reporter can go into the white house and ask questions of our national leadership. bet you one thing they do not do that in russia. all right. >> freedom of speech here for sure. >> ed henry, thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> thanks, ed. >> our next guest says not all evils in the world are equal and we need to rank them accordingly. we will find out just what measurements he would use and why. coming up next. wow! that is huge! [ disco playing ] and this is to remind you that you could save hundreds! yeah, that'll certainly stick with me. we'll take it. go, big money!
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about how you can move toward relief. celebrex. for a body in motion. barack obama may have run for president as the anti-george w. bush, but our next guest says in some ways he can hardly tell the difference. >> steven l. carter writes about obama, the war president in his book "the violence of peace and america's war in the age of obama. "he joins us tonight. welcome, steven. >> thank you for having me on. we learned there is a big difference between campaigning and governing. the former anti-war, barack obama has become the pro-war
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president obama. what do you think happened? >> it is really striking. the best example of it if you look at the speech president obama gave when he won the nobel prize in december 2009. he had a little line in the speech, fascinating line in what he said there is evil in the world and sometimes you have to use military force to combat it. and that sounds so much like george w. bush. and i think what happened, this is not a criticism of either man. i think what happens is that once a president gets into the white house and sees the actual breadth of threats that exist in the world the world looks like a different place and how you deploy america's military looks different than it did in the course of campaigning. what i am trying to do in this book is ask the question that president obama in that address asked, where do we find the moral framework for evaluating these things, things presidents feel they must do? wars that presidents feel they must fight as president obama
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has said about afghanistan to final a moral framework for that evaluation. >> you have been critical of the president for not having a well-defined philosophy of war the he did talk about just war in that speech. has he effectively made the case for what we are trying to accomplish in afghanistan and how it fits into the framework. >> what you see with the president is a repeated emphasis on the necessity of winning the war in afghanistan the he referred to it as a war of necessity, a war that was forced on us, a war we have no choice but who win. but at the same time that he insists on that view, he has also taken the view that on the other hand we are going to be out by 2014. you really can't do both. you have to have a view either this is a war that is crucial to win, in which case you go all in, or a war that was a great mistake, of course you begin a serious way to withdraw. i think the president ought to choose one of those two courses as it were. >> the oslo speech he accepted
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the nobel peace prize, a beautiful speech, laid out, historical and current rationale for just war which is sometimes a difficult concept for people. but what theory of just war now would apply to afghanistan as the president articulated. its it any longer a war of self defense in your view? >> that its a fair question. the president said a just war has to be a war that is a last resort and is for a just cause. part of the just war theory. it is a very important part. and i think that the question whether afghanistan fits that definition, which is something all of us have strong opinions on is exactly the kind of question that i think we need to be debating. we don't debate enough. the ideal i think is to find ways to talk about issues of war and peace without resorting to kind of effort to gain partisan advantage all the time. there used to be the idea that politics stops at the water edge. not saying, you should oppose a war. if it is a bad idea fight against it.
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we need to discuss war, talk about war within a framework like the just war framework without simply thinking about what makes our side of the debate better off. >> that's part of what you do in this book. you give us language to use and talking about it. you insist that the larger american public needs to be a part of that discussion. shouldn't just be happening in the halls of congress. when you talk about a war of last resort. did iraq qualify as a just war in any way? >> i think it is very difficult to make the case that iraq was a war of last resort. i am not entirely sure afghanistan was either. but the question isn't what i think. the question is where is the form. where do we discuss these issues in a way that is helpful to those who are making actual policy? that i think is what we need to try to find room to do. >> what's interesting -- in the pivotal section of the president's speech, in oslo, where he defines just war he talks about last resort and self defense. there is much less in there about spreading virtues of
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democracy, freep do, the world one would create with war, president bush's articulated policy frame, president obama is a self defense oriented speech which makes it harder for him to justify a war against just the taliban in afghanistan. >> the bush doctrine much maligned had two aspects. one which president obama endorsed attacking our enemies before they can attack us. he used that same language a lot of times. used more drone attacks than president bush ever did. a lot of things like that. the other part to spread democracy, he has been less attuned to, less interested in perhaps. but then you get complication what is going on in afghanistan. afghanistan, we are fighting a war, with a government that everyone agrees is quite a corrupt government. and i don't know any way that you can work with it without increasing that corruption. you can decide that is the cost of doing business you have to do that. again the sort of thing that i think we ought to be debating. >> interestingly the framework of just war might apply more readily to iraq.
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if one were to believe there were weapons of mass destructiondestructio destruction. if you believe the leadership of the country believed that then definition of just war, president obama laid out, arg arguably could have justified that war? >> actually there is another part of obama's speech interesting on this. president obama pointed out just war tradition sometimes allows the use of force not just in self defense, but actually requires the use of force to defend other people who are suffering. if you look at the early writers on just war, couple thousand years ago, a lot of them thought defending others was a higher cause than defending the self. that's something we ought to think about two. >> where does nation building fit into the whole definition? >> i think nation building fits into it poorly. it's difficult to imagine you can without an enormous commitment of force create a nation by force. we did it after world war ii. but that was with an enormous troop commitment wasn't with limited engagement we are willing to do today. i think that -- if the war in
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afghanistan is a war to keep the taliban from seizing power we have to have clear benchmarks, shouldn't use the word, we have to have a clear vision from the president, this would count as victory. and this is how i an going to attain it. >> we have to take a quick break. we'll continue our conversation with steven carter in just a moment. we'll be right back. is just $29. you both get a fresh salad and irresistible cheddar bay biscuits. two entrees, from a menu of classic favorites and new creations. and your choice of either an appetizer or a dessert to share. your favorite seafood with your favorite person, just $29.99. for a limited time at red lobster.
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we're back with author steven l. carter. >> professor, i have got to read and quote something from your book. fascinating, the whole book is fascinating. you are talking terrorism and the choice of going to war. the true absolutist is rare. then you continue on. i want to quote this position is in its way nobel but fails to partake of the reality that we have no choice but to rank
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evils. that is a remarkably important observation. i think it is correct the but does that take you to a conclusion that you would torture somebody to get the evidence to stop a bomb from going off, this sort of quintessential morality choice that professors love to play with. >> i wouldn't do it. i am an absolutist on torture. i think you never do it. people who believe there is a reasonable scale up to things like that they're making an important argument. we ought to have the conversation, conversations like that.condemning. >> you have a conversation about the role of human intelligence. which is essential. if you are going to rank evils haven't you said you need to rank the relative evil of torture against one individual versus the cataclysm of mass murder? >> i think that's right. basically right. i emphasize i wouldn't do it. i would be against it in all circumstances. i think someone that doesn't take that view. it is not a wicked view, evil
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view. a view that helps with the complexity and the difficulty of the issues. >> on the subject of evil, president obama mentioned it in his speech, president bush used it often. is the concept of evil as relates to war is that a new conversation or always part of the dialogue? >> a very old conversation going back to early debates about just war theory. there is evil in the world. the president is right about that. he also mentioned it about it in his talk in tucson. mentioned evil in the world as well. there is evil in the word, but the question of whether you have to use military force is not determined just by whether you have identified an evil out there. you also have to go through the other questions of just war tradition raises like whether it is a last resort, whether other less violent ways to am ko polish the same thing. >> i think that the issue in our limited seconds left. the moral obligation to go into a situation like rwanda, forget nation building, saving human life, whether there is a moral compulsion to do that?


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